[Weights.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [The Beam.]257

[Weights.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [The Beam.]

Glass, Slood, Allom, Isinglass, Hogs, Bristles, Beaver Wool, Woombs, Colours for Painters, Pictures, Paper, Rice, Anniseeds, &c. And indeed all Commodities whatsoever find good vent here.]

For the Management of Trade in Shipping off and Landing Goods, and for the Entring of them, in order to the Payment of the King's Duties, there is a Custom-House in Thamestreet, below the Bridge, commodiously seated and supplied with Wharfs and Cranes for the lading and unlading of Goods: and as convenient within, by several Apartments for Offices belonging thereunto; besides, a very large and spacious Room, where the Clarks and others sit, for the dispatch of Business.

The Custom House for the Queen's Customs.

J. S.

In this Office of the Custom-House is a great Number of Officers employed, in their several Stations: many whereof have very large and noble Stipends, besides other Advantages. The Principal Officers are the King's Commissioners; who have the whole Charge and Management of all his Majesty's Customs in all the Ports of England, as well as London; and the Oversight and Ordering of the numerous Officers and Servants belonging to them. These Commissioners, as several other Officers do, hold their Places by Patent from the King. Many others there are that are appointed by Warrant from the Lord Treasurer, or the Lord Commissioners of the Treasury for the time being. The Officers also for the Out-Ports, some are Patent-Officers, and others Warrant-Officers, to a great number. The Names of all these Offices belonging to the Custom-House, and their respective Salaries, may be seen by those that have a mind to know, in the Book called the Present State of England.

The Officers.

Other great and necessary Appendages of Trade, are Weights and Measures. Which by the Magna Charta, ought to be one and the same throughout the whole Kingdom: and those must be according to the King's Standard, of Weights and Measures kept in the Exchequer, by a special Officer of the House, called the Clark, or Comptroller, of the Market. And for the preventing of Deceits in so important a Matter, there are Officers appointed to inspect the same: As the Jury of Inquests in the several Wards and Parishes of London, and the like for the Parts without the City Liberty. And in the County there is a Clark of the Market, for the Verge of the King's Palace, (which some say is twelve Miles circuit round the Court) whose Care is to look after the same. And to that end he keeps his Courts half yearly, at convenient Places for the Inhabitants; who bring or send their Weights and Measures to be tryed, by the Standard kept by him. And what Weights and Measures are by the Jury found to be faulty, the Owners thereof are presented and fined by the said Clark, more or less, according to the Offence, or returned into the Exchequer; and accordingly to be estreated for the King.

Weights and Measures.

Magna Charta. Cap. 27.

Clark of the Market.

But within the City Liberties, the Lord Maior hath the looking after the same: And the like hath the Steward, or Head Bailiff for the Liberty of Westminster. And so for other Liberties, which by some old Privilege claim such a Power, as St. Katharines, &c.

Concerning the Weights and Measures used in London, and all over England, and the particular practice of weighing and measuring Commodities, recourse may be had to Books of Commerce, and Merchandize; and for a brief and succinct Relation thereof, to the Present State of England.

Present State, p. 385. Edit. 1694.

I only add, that after the Union of England and Scotland, it was enacted that the same Weights and Measures be used throughout Great Britain, as were before used in England: And the Standards of those Weights and Measures, (anciently kept in the Exchequer at Westminster) to be kept also in those Burghs in Scotland, to which the keeping of Weights and Measures are now in Use. And all the Standards to be sent down to the respective Burghs from the Standard kept in the Exchequer.

The same Standard for Great Britain.

There antiently was, and still is, a publick Ballance, or Beam, belonging to the City, for weigh- of Commodities between Buyer and Seller, and a Master Weigher appointed: and there was all possible Care used for the just keeping of this Beam. For which Purpose these Orders of old time, may be taken notice of.

The Beam.

Quia sepius, &c. In English, "Because often before these times, many and sundry Contentions have arisen betwixt the Merchants Strangers selling, and the private Merchants buying different Commodities of Averdupois, and * Spices: which were weighed as well by the great Balance, as the small: So that it was uncertain upon the Tract of weighing: For the Weigher gave to some more, and to some less, as was reported:"

An Ordinance made of the manner of weighing by the Beam, 3 Ed. II. Ann. Dom. 319.

Red Book.


"For the avoiding of such Contentions, and for the removing them for the time to come, it was agreed by Thomas Romayn, Maior, and the Aldermen, and by the assent of Luke de Haveryng, William de Byderik, Rafe le Balauncer, Peter Adrian, William Furneys, Roger de Arcubus, William le Boteler, William le Barber, John Godelinyng, Richard de Dorsete, Richard de Ispania, Citizens and Merchants of London: and John le Lang, Hildebrand de nova Curia, Jacob Fish, John Pope, Richard Sware, Bertram de Coloign, John de Sterneberwe, &c. Merchants of Lombardy, and Provence: THAT all the Merchandizes of Averdupois, as of Wax, Almonds, Rices, Copper, &c. and such like, which are to be weighed by the Beam, for the time to come be weighed equally. That the Weigher remove his Hands thence: So that he seem neither to the Seller, nor to the Buyer, to yield any thing, or to take away more than what is just, after any manner whatsoever. And that every Hundred of such Grosses of Averdupois, contain fivescore and twelve Pounds; and every Hundred of small Spices, viz. Ginger, Saffron, Sugar, Maces, and other of such sort, which are sold by the Pound, contain fivescore and four Pounds. And it is enjoyned the Weigher, that he weigh no otherwise, under pain of Imprisonment."

" And moreover it is forbidden, that no Merchant Stranger, or private Merchant, sell or buy but by the Balance; and not by Detail, under pain, &c. Yet always saving the State of the Lord the King, and of his Wardrobe, when they will weigh. That they weigh as before hath been used, if they please: until something else be appointed by him and his Council. And this Ordinance was made on Monday in the Eve of St. Martin, Anno Regn. Reg. Edwardi fil. Reg. Edw. tertio."

" And the Weigher shall receive, for the use of the Sheriff, of every thousand Weight weighed, 1d. And the Weigher shall have for his own Labour of every hundred Weight a Farthing."

What the antient manner of appointing a Weigher of the great Beam was, may be seen by this Extract out of the Records of the Chamber; when one Andrew Goddard, 6 Edw. II. was put and sworn in that Office.

"Memorandum, &c. Be it remembred, that on Wednesday next after the Feast of St. Michael, Ann. Regni Regis Edw. fil. Edw. sexto, came honest Men of the Commonalty, viz. of the Trade of the Pepperers, Corders *, or Ropers,, Ferriers, or Ironmongers, Apothecaries, and of divers other Trades, who used to weigh their Commodities "

A Weigher sworn.

Lib. Horn.